Submitted: May 17, 2018
from United States District Court for the Northern District
of Iowa - Sioux City
WOLLMAN, BENTON, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Rosales-Martinez was convicted of second degree sexual abuse,
in violation of Iowa Code § 709.3(1)(b). He sought a
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 arguing
that the trial court violated his right to confrontation. The
district court denied relief. He appeals. Having
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.
was charged with sexual abuse in the second degree for
inappropriately touching his step-daughter, A.C. Before
trial, the State moved for a protective order for A.C.'s
deposition, requiring that Rosales-Martinez be separated from
her by a one-way mirror, and that she not be told he is on
the other side. Rosales-Martinez consented to the one-way
mirror, but requested A.C. be told he was present and could
hear her. At a hearing on June 11, 2001, the child's
therapist and her foster mother testified. According to the
therapist, A.C. is concerned about seeing Rosales-Martinez,
continually afraid of running into him, and would be very
traumatized if she knew he was in the same building. The
foster mother testified that A.C. encountered him at a parade
and was in a state of panic for nearly 30 minutes. On July 5,
the court denied Rosales-Martinez's request, making these
A.C. would suffer serious trauma caused by testifying in the
physical presence of the defendant and that it would impair
A.C.'s ability to communicate and that the protective
measures stipulated to by the parties and endorsed by the
Court are necessary to protect A.C. from trauma. . . . The
Court finds and the parties stipulate that the defendant
shall remain behind a one-way mirror where he can see and
hear A.C. but that A.C. cannot hear nor see defendant.
the first trial, the State moved for a protective order for
A.C.'s trial testimony. Rosales-Martinez agreed to A.C.
testifying by closed-circuit television, but again requested
she be told he was present and could hear her. Relying on the
previous findings, the judge denied Rosales-Martinez's
request. The jury deadlocked. The court declared a mistrial.
Before the retrial began on January 8, 2002, the court again
discussed A.C.'s trial testimony. A.C.'s guardian ad
litem told the trial court that the previous procedure was
still necessary based on conversations with A.C. The parties
agreed to the procedure used in the first trial. The court
reiterated its previous findings.
was found guilty. He appealed. The Iowa Court of Appeals
affirmed. See State v. Rosales-Martinez, 666 N.W.2d
621 (Iowa Ct. App. 2003) (table) (text in 2003 WL 21229134).
He then sought post-conviction relief, which was denied. The
Iowa Court of Appeals again affirmed. See
Rosales-Martinez v. State, 810 N.W.2d 26 (Iowa Ct. App.
2011) (table) (text in 2011 WL 6740152). Rosales-Martinez
petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. The
district court dismissed but granted a certificate of
is limited to the issue in the certificate of appealability.
Scott v. United States, 473 F.3d 1262, 1263 (8th
Cir. 2007). The district court's findings of fact are
reviewed for clear error and conclusions of law de novo.
Id. This court "may affirm the judgment on any
grounds supported by the record." Land v. Wash.
Cty., 243 F.3d 1093, 1095 (8th Cir. 2001). A writ of
habeas corpus may be granted "to a state prisoner if the
state court decision 'was contrary to, or involved an
unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law
. . . or . . . was based on an unreasonable determination of
the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State
court proceeding.'" Garrison v. Burt, 637
F.3d 849, 853 (8th Cir. 2011), ellipsing 28 U.S.C.
issue here is whether the state courts' decisions are
contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, Maryland
v. Craig, 497 U.S. 836 (1990). "In all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be
confronted with the witnesses against him."
Craig, 497 U.S. at 844. However, face-to-face
confrontation is not "an indispensable element of the
Sixth Amendment's guarantee of the right to confront
one's accusers." Id. at 849-50. The
"use of the one-way closed circuit television procedure,
where necessary to further an important state interest, does
not impinge upon the truth-seeking or symbolic purposes of
the Confrontation Clause." Id. at 852. The
"State's interest in the protection of minor victims
of sex crimes from further trauma and embarrassment is a
compelling one." Id., citing Globe
Newspaper Co. v. Super. Ct. of Norfolk Cty., 457 U.S.
596, 607 (1982) (internal quotations omitted). "It is
evident beyond the need for elaboration that a State's
interest in safeguarding the physical and psychological
well-being of a minor is compelling." Id. at
852-53 (internal quotations omitted), quoting Osborne v.
Ohio, 495 U.S. 103, 109 (1990). This interest may
"outweigh . . . a defendant's right to face his or
her accusers in court." Id. at 853.
"the State makes an adequate showing of necessity,"
its interest "is sufficiently important to justify the
use of a special procedure that permits a child witness in
such cases to testify at trial against a defendant in the
absence of face-to-face confrontation." Id. at
855. This finding of necessity must be
"case-specific," based on evidence, to determine
whether a different procedure "is necessary to protect
the welfare of the particular child witness."
Id. The trial court must "find that the child
witness would be traumatized, not by the courtroom generally,
but by the presence of the defendant." Id. at
856. The trauma must be "more than de minimis,
i.e., more than 'mere nervousness or excitement or
some reluctance to testify.'" Id.
"[W]here face-to-face confrontation causes significant
emotional distress in a child witness, there is evidence that
such confrontation would in fact disserve the
Confrontation Clause's truth-seeking goal."
Id. at 857, citing Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S.
1012, 1032 (1988) (Blackmun, J., dissenting).
Craig, the child abuse victims testified by
closed-circuit television after the trial court found that
they would suffer severe emotional distress and be unable to
communicate if face-to-face with the defendant. After a
proper finding of necessity, a child witness may testify by
use of a special procedure if under oath, subject to full
cross-examination, and "observed by" the judge,
jury, and defendant. Id.
argues that the trial court erred by not making new express
findings of necessity in the retrial to support the special
procedure for A.C.'s testimony. The trial court
incorporated its previous findings made six months earlier,
with no reason to doubt them. Rosales-Martinez asserts this
violates Craig. But Craig does not require
the trial court to conduct a new Craig hearing at
every stage. Section 2254(d)(1) "does not require state
courts to extend [Supreme Court] precedent or